Yesterday (Saturday) was the St. Charles St. Patrick's Day parade, and as I have for the last several years, I marched with the Tunes of Glory Pipes & Drums. So... when I went to church this morning, people handed me copies of today's Kane County Chronicle:
Would you look at that... the piper they chose to put in the paper is none other than li'l old me. Another five seconds of fame there... at this rate, by the time I'm eighty I'll have gotten the full fifteen minutes that Andy Warhol said we'd all get.
In the accompanying article, columnist Joe Grace talks about how he's never marched in a parade, but dreams of doing so someday. It is an interesting experience--on the one hand, it's fun to see the people on the sidewalk waving and cheering, especially when you get a glimpse of someone you know. On the other hand, there's a lot to think about--playing correctly (and playing the right tune!), staying in step, and not drifting out of position in the group. I have a tendency to take longer steps than most people, which means that if I'm not careful I'll find myself well out ahead of my line--especially if I'm in the front row. In last year's downtown Chicago parade, I got far enough out ahead that another piper grabbed my belt and yanked me back into position--right as we were passing the TV cameras, of course!
It appears we're getting ready to start another tune, which is why I have only one hand on the pipe chanter and am adjusting the bag position with the other. Getting the bag tucked properly under your arm is a bit tricky when wearing the rain cape that was, alas, necessary on this cold and drizzly day.
I don't think the photographer knew me from Adam, and I really doubt that he knew I'm one of maybe two or three people in the band who actually live in St. Charles, but it's kind of cool that of all the people he could have photographed, he chose me. I'd like to think it's because I just look like a "piper," but I suspect the reality is that I just happened to be passing by when he decided to snap the picture.